Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s plan to redraw Virginia’s congressional boundaries deserves “special deference” because of his elected position, his lawyers told a federal three-judge panel Wednesday. The judges have twice ruled that Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District is unconstitutional because state legislators packed too many additional African-Americans into its boundaries, diluting their influence elsewhere. Last month McAuliffe submitted one of 11 proposed fixes sent to the court. He urged a “comprehensive redrawing” of the congressional map, arguing that tinkering would be insufficient.
The governor’s plan would drop the black voting-age population in the 3rd District, represented by Democrat Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, from 56.3 percent to 41.9 percent. It would turn the 4th District, represented by Republican J. Randy Forbes, into a majority-minority district.
McAuliffe hopes the moves would enable African-Americans to elect two members of Congress of their choice, instead of one.